Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support to childcare sector

Published: 31 Jul 2020
Last updated: 31 Jul 2020 - see all updates

Guidance on the daycare services for children in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): support to childcare sector
Childminders: financial support

Childminders: business and financial support

This information applies to childminders and sets out the range of business and financial support that has been made available.

You may be able to access many of these support measures regardless of whether your setting is open or closed.  

On 10 July Scotland entered Phase 3 of the route map for recovery from COVID-19. As part of Phase 3, restrictions on childminders changed compared to those introduced during Phase 1. Revised guidance of 30 July makes further changes.

  • from 15 July 2020, childminders who wish to deliver their service can do so in line with their usual operating model. There is no restriction to the number of households that childminders can care for
  • childminders can use their discretion to allocate places to families, based on their usual operating model
  • childminders operating larger settings of more than eight children at any one time, are no longer required to keep children in cohorts of up to eight but should follow the guidance for large settings below
  • there is no longer a requirement to avoid blended placements (i.e. where children attend 2 or more childcare settings). However, minimising contacts remains important to managing the risk of transmission of the virus

This guidance will be kept under review as we move through the different phases of the route map for recovery.

Overview of available support

Dependent on your individual circumstances, you will be able to access support through one or more of the following (details of each of the schemes are set out below):

You can also find more information on the Find Business Support website or contact the Scottish Government’s business helpline on 0300 303 0660.  

Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Childminders whose income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19, and who meet the eligibility criteria (set out below), will be able to access support through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). The scheme currently allows you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months, and capped at £7,500 altogether; and requires you to have:

  • filed a tax return for 2018-19 as self-employed or a member of a trading partnership on or before 23 April 2020 for that year
  • traded in the 2019-20 tax year; be currently trading at the point of application (or would be except for Covid-19) and intend to continue to trade in the 2020-21 tax year and
  • trading profits of less than £50,000 and more than half of your total income come from self-employment. This can be with reference to at least one of the following conditions: (1) your trading profits and total income in 2018-19; or (2) your average trading profits and total income across up to the three years between 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19
  • The UK Government announced on 29 May that the scheme is being extended. You’ll be able to make a claim for a second and final grant in August 2020. HMRC will work out your eligibility the same way as the first grant
  • if you’re eligible and your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, the second and final grant will be a taxable grant worth 70% of your average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering a further 3 months’ worth of profits, and capped at £6,570 in total. You do not need to have claimed the first grant to receive the second grant
  • if you receive the grant you can continue to work, start a new trade or take on other employment including voluntary work
  • the online service for the second and final grant will be available from 17 August 2020. Further guidance on the SEISS is available, and will continue to be updated as further information becomes available
  • if you are unable to claim online you should contact HMRC for help

Other sources of support

If you are not eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme, and/or can’t wait until June for a grant payment the following are other sources of support you may be able to access:

  • you may be able to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of your turnover through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
  • if you are not eligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme and are not providing critical childcare provision for key worker families and vulnerable children then you can access support through Universal Credit. The standard rate in Universal Credit has been increased to support claimants. You can find out more information about Universal Credit and how to apply on the site.
  • if you have had to self-isolate, and can no longer offer your service, then you may be able to make a claim for the New Style Employment and Support Allowance
  • if you are already receiving Universal Credit and you have COVID-19 or need to self-isolate, the requirements of the Minimum Income Floor have been temporarily relaxed. This change took effect on 13 March and will last for the duration of the outbreak.
  • if you’re a director of your childminding service and paid through PAYE you may be able to get support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Support with the deferral of tax, mortgage and other payments

  • if you are due to make a self-assessment payment on account on 31 July 2020 then you are eligible for this payment to be deferred until January 2021. This is an automatic offer with no applications required. No penalties or interest for late payment will be charged if you defer payment of your July 2020 payment on account until January 2021. More information: Deferral of self assessment payment.  
  • If you’ve missed, or are worried about missing, your next tax payment due to coronavirus, please contact HMRC. You can also call the HMRC helpline for advice on 0800 024 1222.
  • in addition, Value Added Tax (VAT) payments due before 30 June 2020 will be deferred until 31 June 2021.
  • mortgage lenders have agreed to offer repayment holidays to households in financial difficulty due to COVID-19. You need to be up to date with payments and not already in arrears, and should contact your lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if this is a suitable option for you.
  • you may be eligible for a council tax reduction which will reduce your council tax, potentially to zero depending on your circumstances. The Scottish Government will provide local authorities with more money to support that. Your local authority will be able to provide more information. If your income or earnings are impacted by COVID-19 and you are struggling to meet your next council tax payment you should discuss this as soon as possible with your local authority by phone or using their website.
  • if as a result of COVID-19 you are experiencing difficulties with paying your energy bills, or paying back personal loans of credit card bills, then please contact your energy provider or lender to explore payment plans.

First published: 31 Jul 2020 Last updated: 31 Jul 2020 -